AKA 7000 Penguins Die in Mystery Stampede – from the personal journal of The Thinking Viking during a summer in Alaska
What follows and in following posts in this category are excerpts from my hand written journal, cobbled together with hazy and sometimes crystal clear memories. It’s a view into life in 1990 from my own youthful pencil and my current mind commenting. 

You really should start from the beginning

Summer 1990 – on the pacific ocean, now off the coast of Alaska.

Things are about to get real. Three days on the ferry, sleeping in a tent on deck, eating trail mix and cafeteria food on the way to Petersburg, AK. On a freaking ISLAND.  Making friends. Already having people sign my journal with a phone and address – a thing I kept up all summer. I have $43.00 in my pocket, a French Foreign Legion surplus pocket knife, a backpack, a bunch of clothes (including the aforementioned trench coat), a d-cell dual cassette boom box and three friends. Good times. I have no idea where I’m spending my next night.

“June 24 – Sunday – at bout 4:00 AM the ferry stopped in Ketchikan and Eric and Wendy and about 200 others get off. I slept in late – awoke at  7:00 A.M. but fuck it- I don’t need to be.  Cough Cough.

June 25 – Monday. Petersburg is an interesting town. Got off the boat yesterday at 4:00. Got some “supplies” etc I’ve paid for a week here at Tent City. Went down this morning and applied for work and bought some food. I’m rather tired right now, but that isn’t dampening my optimism. There are a lot of people from Boulder here,  and the TV is piped from DENVER of all places. I think it’s going to be impossible to completely stop smoking. I was very drunk last night and had a cig. It seems I smoke when I drink a lot.

June 26 – Tuesday mailing letters today – four postcards, actually, also found Sinead O’Connor on the local radio. The radio stations – both of them – are pretty good  a few hours each day. I truly believe my handwriting is declining.

June 27 – Wednesday – WAKE  UP SHITHEAD!  IT’S 8:00 oclock in the morning! The sun fucking rizes here at nearly 4:00 so you get used to sleeping in daylight.  It’s hot in the tent. rather, it is very warm.

Had my PFI interview today – they ‘ll announce on Tuesday when the season opens up for us. Bought a new bandanna – Blue this time. Had a dream last night that I was camping in Quik-Mart and found a purple bandanna and fighting with steve Linerd (?? can’t read my own writing) . Finished Illuminatus last night….Cellophane flowers appear on the wall…

Christ I feel weird….

OK, that weird feeling is gone now, feeling normal yet out of sorts no…that’s wrong too.  Sitting in Tent City commons with people all around. gonna be OK…might there is a red-head here with very attractive legs. talking to Ted #2 and Ted #1 is splitting wood with a hand axe. People are eating shrimp.  Crab again tonite, shrimp also, just made a wooden knife. Wow. I’m so fucking thrilled.”

-(skipping two plus pages of strange dreams )

“I feel obligated to write something about today which has nothing to do with my fucked-up dreams. But what? To speak of the glories of Tent City is foolishly  hopeless, for they are few and far between. The tent is hot. I just washed my hair with a hose- that cooled me off a great deal. I also found my clicker pencil and refilled it with lead, which is why my handwriting is more fluid and dare I hope? easier to read. (yes, former me, it is easier to read)  Can I believe I will finish this book by the end of the summer?  Maybe, maybe not. If I keep writing a page and a half of bullshit like this I will..

Why are there so many bugs? There are so many bugs to keep the skins of humans red and irritated. They are here to keep our human ears busy with the sound of them. They are here to keep human hands busy brushing them off and swatting them to a flat death. To keep human eyes alert for small quick things that bite. to keep humans minds annoyed and stave off boredom.

Ted says “I’m starved! mmm What time is it?”

– end quotes

The days before the salmon season opened after I got to the island were long, but not hard. Plenty of food, just no money, very little work.  You could sign up for “day labor” and the first come, first served got some work and a bit of cash for it.  But fresh fish kept showing up, wild blueberries, good times.  Learned how to poach salmon on a campfire.  More coming soon.

MJ

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